If you don't already follow and belong to LinkedIn's Small Biz Nation group, read this and you'll see why you should.
Posting to the group, Petar Radeta writes, "I'm looking into promoting my aunt's range of cosmetic products. Dont know where to start. I have a marketing plan set, based on $0 expenditure as we do not have $$ yet. Any bright ideas?"
He got some very quick feedback from a number of group followers, some very innovative:
Lin Shearer, who works for eBay's ProStores, says, "How about an online store? Most solutions start at $30 a month -- not $0 but close. The first couple weeks or the first month is usually free to set up shop online with any number of online store solutions. The good ones will push your aunt's products out to free shopping sites like Google Base, thefind.com, etc."
Rieva Lesonsky, a noted blogger for Small Business Trends, asks, "Do you have insurance? Many people are sensitive to ingredients in cosmetics, and you don't want to invite any legal action. Packaging is key here. Knowing the demographics is vital to knowing how to design your packaging and how to promote your product. You can exhibit at women's events, flea markets or hold makeup home parties."
Ryan Kohl says, "Find an industry related-product that the cosmetics can be sold with such as women's hair products, nail care, etc. Offer with a reputable distributor of that respective product to market theirs along with yours in agreement to use their existing database at the same time. In other words use their proven product as a stepping stone to offer yours."
Bob Wiltse says, "Try approaching local hairdressers, nail shops, apparel stores, etc. Set up a display. Introduce your products to their clientele, face to face. Share profits with the shop owner. Have a contest. Get names for your email database. Get feedback. Get testimonials. Test the market for your product. Refer them to your online store Volusion, BigCommerce, Shopify, IzzoNet, eBay ProStore, Amazon -- any will host a store and provide infrastructure). That's a start."
Hetal Somasundaram says, "Do check out Apptivo. We offer free apps to create, manage and sell with an online store. You can also design and manage marketing campaigns. It is a one stop shop for small businesses like your aunt's."
People are crowdsourcing their strategic development. What are you doing to get input into your idea?